The Principles of Servant Leadership

Definition

First of all, it is essential to discuss the definition of the concept under consideration. Servant leadership is a complex phenomenon, which includes “a philosophy, a set of leadership practices, and a set of leadership qualities” (Allen et al., 2016, p. 1). It is possible to observe that, due to the complexity of the concept, there is no universal definition of it. However, ten principal tenets could be mentioned: “listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community” (Allen et al., 2016, p. 1).

The main principle of servant leadership is the commitment to ethical decision-making. Thus, the definition could be formulated as follows: servant leadership is the complex leadership style that aims at creating a multifaceted organizational structure in which leaders are ethical and aspiring to serve.

Explanation

It is worth mentioning that servant leadership style shares some characteristics with other leadership styles; however, none of the existing leadership theories includes all the attributes of a servant leader. The investment in personal relationships with employees within an organization can have a positive impact by contributing to their loyalty in a place of work (Carter & Baghurst, 2014). As it is stated by Allen et al. (2016), a servant leader is characterized by the following traits: he or she “shares power, puts the needs of others first, helps individuals develop and optimize performance, is willing to learn from others, and forsakes personal advancement and rewards” (p. 2).

Such an approach gains significant attention in recent decades because numerous companies seek leaders who are not only motivated by self-power. Instead, servant leaders strive to inspire their followers by means of personal communication and active participation in the daily life of an organization.

Elaboration

Further, it is essential to elaborate on more specific aspects of servant leadership. It could be stated with certainty that the approach under discussion could be efficiently applied in organizations from considerably different spheres. For example, the article by Allen et al. (2016) discusses the implementation of servant leadership in academic institutions, while Carter and Baghurst (2014) investigate the relationship between servant leadership style and employee engagement in the restaurant sphere.

Additionally, Rivkin, Diestel, and Schmidt (2014) state that there is an evident positive connection between servant leadership and the psychological well-being of employees within the organization. It could be stated that performance planning and day-to-day coaching of the followers within the organization are integral responsibilities of a servant leader. Also, the concept of shared governance is highly important for this type of leadership. If the work of a servant leader is efficient, he or she is able to develop effective teams within the organization that can function without strict control of the leader.

Examples

Lastly, it is of high importance to elaborate on specific examples of servant leadership. In the provided scenario for this assignment, Lt. Col Moore could be exemplified as an efficient servant leader due to several facts. First of all, he is fighting among his soldiers. Secondly, he is faced with multiple difficult tasks, including combat with a numerically superior enemy force and the necessity to provide the bridgehead for helicopters. Thirdly, he shares his responsibilities with his company commanders efficiently, motivating them to work towards mutual goals by performing separate tasks. Lt. Col Moore succeeds in meeting several challenges successfully by the implementation of the servant leadership style. Therefore, it could be stated that servant leadership is a highly effective and applicable approach to governance.

References

Allen, G. P., Moore, W. M., Moser, L. R., Neill, K. K., Sambamoorthi, U., & Bell, H. S. (2016). The role of servant leadership and transformational leadership in academic pharmacy. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 80(7), 1-7.

Carter, D., & Baghurst, T. (2014). The influence of servant leadership on restaurant employee engagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 124(3), 453-464.

Rivkin, W., Diestel, S., & Schmidt, K. H. (2014). The positive relationship between servant leadership and employees’ psychological health: A multi-method approach. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(1-2), 52-72.